Since early last month outlets such as Politico and the Huffington Post have ran stories indicating that Hillary Clinton may again run for president in 2020. If Trump attacks legal marijuana, this is far more likely – as is her victory.
During the campaign Clinton made the mistake of failing to embrace legalizing marijuana. Clinton did state her support for state’s rights, but so did Trump. Given that, many if not most of Trump’s supporters expect him to leave legal marijuana states alone – some even think he may legalize it himself, given past comments he’s made in support of legalizing all drugs.
If Trump would have said on the campaign trail we would see “greater enforcement” of federal marijuana laws, as his press secretary recently stated, there’s no denying it would have hurt him in the election; at the very least some of the Bernie supporters who voted for him would have otherwise stayed home. And if we do see greater enforcement, there’s no doubt he will lose a large amount of support (or at least excitement) heading into 2020.
According to a recent Quinnipiac University Poll, 71% of U.S. voters, including a majority of Republicans, want the feds to respect state marijuana laws. Trump not respecting this would be greatly detrimental to his reelection chances.
Clinton, of course, has a spew of problems that would make a 2020 run difficult, but if she were to come out in full support of legalization – something that would be far from surprising, given her past changes to match the popular opinion on other issues – it would make it a lot easier and would garner her some of the youth vote she failed to obtain in 2016. She could easily chalk up her newfound support for legalization to the fact that legalization schemes have been shown to be successful in multiple states, for multiple years.
Trump, of course, may very well not attack legal marijuana, and the recent comments from his press secretary may simply be the administration testing the water (or maybe his press secretary is making his best guess on the issue prior to any solid plan in place). At this point Trump himself has made no actual indication that he will use federal force to shutdown state-level marijuana laws. But he also hasn’t indicated that he won’t.
If he does, a Clinton presidency will be a whole lot more likely.
[Editor’s Note: TheJointBlog did not endorse a candidate during the 2016 presidential election, though we did express support for Bernie Sanders during the primaries.]